You’ve heard plenty of stories about couples who sat down together, decided they both wanted to get divorced, and then went through an amicable divorce together. They both wanted to split up, and they worked together to make it happen.

As you start thinking about divorce, you assume your spouse must feel the same way. You keep waiting for a chance to talk about it together, or you keep thinking he or she should bring it up. Why doesn’t it happen?

The reality is that most divorce cases do not begin with both people. They tend to be one-sided. One spouse asks for the divorce, and the other has to go along with it.

In some cases, that person is surprised or angry. In other cases, they admit that it’s probably the right move. But, no matter how they react, that does not change the fact that the divorce really started with the other spouse.

In fact, that person may have emotionally cut themselves off from the marriage before filing for divorce. They started to move on. They knew the end had arrived before it did. There is no guarantee that the other spouse mirrors these feelings, especially since they haven’t talked about it yet.

That does not mean you and your spouse cannot have an amicable divorce or that one of you has to be hurt and angry. But it does mean that you may be wasting your time waiting for your spouse to bring it up. Instead, it could be time to look into all of the legal options you have to get this process started.